J. Randall Stewart
48 - The Good in the Bad
Updated: Nov 29, 2022
We all have an innate desire to do what is good.
It's our desire to do good, turned towards bad ends, that makes our actions bad, even when done with a good heart.
God honors our good intentions, while still desiring to correct their misaligned expressions.
Sometimes, we think good intent is enough.
But world the suffers greatly from good intentions gone wrong.
It's important that we align our good intentions and their expressions with God.
God has the biggest and smallest view of the world. God can see into the heart of every human being. God sees the micro and the macro aspects of our world, and our part within it. The journey of every Christian should be into themselves, in partnership with God, so the Holy Spirit can align our heart and perspective with God's. The more in tune with God we are, the more we will be able to carry out our good desire with good results.
Culture is the societal programing that helps focus our desire for good in a particular way.
We are all born in a particular time, place, country, city, and family. From all these different sources, we learn the right way to focus our good intentions towards good ends. But what if some of that messaging is convoluted, and wrong? We wouldn't know it, unless we could step outside it, and see it from a different perspective.
God is that different perspective.
Sometimes, God needs to break through our cultural programming, to help us see in a new way.
To help us see as God does.
God doesn't see the world through the limited perspective of our place within it.
Often, our view is petty and self-referential. Often, we convolute our view with petty self-interest. At worst, we can bend the whole world to this one broken distortion, that all things only have value in relation to us. We can wrongly think, "what things mean to me, is the only meaning they have." We may not believe this in our thinking, but we often live this out in our actions. So, we can end up doing what we think is good, through the distortion of only what is good for us as individuals, or us as a part of a smaller world, our world. We can do good for ourselves, our family, our city, our religion, while doing great harm to all the things outside those circles. Doing good for some, while doing evil for others does not balance out. God desires that we do good for all and to all. To balance that desire, God has given us the Holy Spirit.
We must learn to let the Holy Spirit walk in concert with our inner sense of good. The Spirit must become that gentle voice within us, correcting and guiding our conscience in a way that sees bigger than we could. We must learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit (Galatians ch.5). As we grow in that ability, we have a good and proper balance to our self-referential perspective.
God alone must establish the value and meaning of all things for us, because God already has done that in the best and truest way. God the Creator created everything according to His purpose, value, and meaning. As we align with God's perspective, we are able to move through the world with good intentions that also produce good results.